Social Marketing

Alcalay, Rina and Bell, Robert, A. “Promoting Nutrition and Physical Activity through Social Marketing: Current Practices and Recommendations”. Prepared for the Cancer Prevention and Nutrition Section, California Department of Health Services. (2000). “Promoting Nutrition” discusses the advantages and disadvantages of social marketing and its conflicting nature with product marketing. While the authors attempt to justify social marketing as a positive commercialization of good health, one has to consider the numerous product commercials aimed at healthy lifestyles.

The authors’ write “unlike commercial marketing, the agent of change does not profit financially from a campaign’s success” (2). This would seem conflicting with today’s standards. It would appear that social change is a concept that product marketing has caught onto to make a profit. Jenny Craig commercials for example, are much like non-profit commercials for eating healthy; however Jenny Craig commercials show everyday women with proof of their weight loss; smiling, joyous women, who the viewer wants to be like.

Chances are high that the viewer will likely seek help achieving the “happy, healthy lifestyle” from Jenny Craig before they take it upon themselves to just eat right and exercise. The question comes to mind, if these authors and other nonprofit organizations are looking for healthy social change, why don’t they look to product marketing for examples of what works, rather than the usual social marketing practices? Week 4 Grunig, James, E. Publics, Audiences and Market Segments: Segmentation Principles for Campaigns.

Segment marketing is not a new concept; it is most often called target marketing today and is a popular method of increasing sales by targeting specific types of customers. Grunig discusses the numerous methods to segment marketing, such as targeting social relationships, communities, and certain demographics etc. which have been successful marketing techniques over the past several years. Some marketing experts however, are leery of such techniques, as they “cut-off” potential customers who are not in the target audience.

Segment, or target, marketing has had significant attention and results, but little has been said about other methods; is segment marketing the leading marketing technique? What are other successful techniques, and are they as successful as segment marketing? Week 5 “Sensation Seeking in Antidrug Campaign and Message Design” provided little-to-no valuable information concerning the effectiveness of their anti-drug campaign. Where is the proof that any of the 2100 callers to the hotline actually stopped or slowed their drug use because of the sensation seeking campaign methods?

It would appear by the authors’ description that the only actual result of the campaign was that they received a handful of callers. There is no proof that these callers could be classified as actual “sensation seekers” or that such campaigning methods were influential on the reduction of drug use. If these callers and potential campaign viewers are responsive to the sensation seeking campaign methods, what were the actual success rates; and if these results were positive, what methods would be implemented to reach viewers demonstrating other negative behaviors listed by the authors’? Week 6 Rice, Ronald E.

and Atkin, Charles K. “Public Communication Campaigns” “Communicative Functions of Political Campaigns” is an in-depth discussion of the various communications political candidates use during their campaigns. It became apparent through the reading how many factors are involced in communicating with the public and how many ways in which the public can respond to those messages. It is no wonder than, as Martin (2004) discussed in “Inside the Black Box”, that candidates are often accused of negative campaigning; the public is bombarded with political messages from numerous candidates that is overwhelming.

Once personal information on candidates is revealed, it can create such frustration and doubt among voters. Is it possible then, with this bombardment of information coming from the candidate, his opponents and the media, that voters are looking for a reason to dislike the opponent? Is the public trying to weed-out reputable candidates from the barrage of campaign efforts? Week 7 Butler, M. “America’s Sacred Cow”. Public Communication Campaigns. (2001). Similar to “Publics, Audiences and Market Segments”, the Milk Mustache campaign started as a targeted marketing plan, targeting women from ages 29 – 45.

The campaign lost focus however once the decision was made to use celebrities; thus pre-teens and teens were most attracted to this campaign. For this reason, numerous companies jumped on the band wagon; websites, contests and other teen-attracting marketing began. Sales however, were not as high as predicted however. Is it possible that the lower than expected milk sales could have been caused by the misdirected campaign strategy? That is, was the choice to use superstars in the campaign ads a good choice? Did it result in lower milk sales?

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